Florida parents have been charged for allegedly beating their 6-year-old to death for drinking out of a toilet, in addition to charges for abusing their five other children, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to WFTV, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested two parents on Tuesday for allegedly beating their son to death for drinking from a toilet in the hotel room where they were reportedly living.
In a news conference on Wednesday, OCSO Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez said that the family of eight — two parents and six children — were living in one hotel room at the Knights Inn.
“The kids were not in school and they had no friends here. The parents had no close relatives in the area” said Lopez. “These kids were isolated inside the hotel room.”
The parents, Larry Rhodes Jr., 22, and Bianca Blaise, allegedly told deputies that the child drowned but two other children told investigators what they saw happen, according to WFTV. Deputies learned that Blaise had allegedly beaten the child and Rhodes allegedly punched him in the head and stomach.
The initial incident happened on July 5 when Blaise called 911 saying that her six-year-old son was drinking water out of the toilet and drowned. The first deputy to arrive on the scene found the boy and immediately began to perform CPR, according to Lopez.
The child was taken to a hospital in serious condition. He had a brain bleed and a lacerated liver, according to Lopez. He was placed on life support but died a few days later.
Deputies noticed that the other children were malnourished, underweight, and, had cuts and marks on them as well. Those children were removed from the hotel room and put into foster care, according to Lopez.
Lopez and other investigators said that this case was one of the worst child abuse cases they have seen in their careers.
Both Blaise and Rhodes were charged with child neglect on the day of the incident and were charged with murder on Tuesday, according to Lopez.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information has been released.
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